Emotional Health and Well-being in Schools: Involving Young People

Lindsey Coombes, Jane V. Appleton, Debby Allen, Paul Yerrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


Prevalence studies of emotional health and well-being (EHWB) of young people indicate that that there is cause for concern. Very few studies have examined EHWB from the perspective of young people. This study examined the views of young people about their EHWB in the context of secondary education in the UK. Eight focus groups were conducted in five secondary schools with pupils in year 10 (aged 13-14). The findings suggested that whilst pupils thought some aspects of EHWB are well provided for in the school curriculum, there were problems with coherence of EHWB policy. Mental health topics were thought to be neglected in the EHWB curriculum especially in relation to self-harm. Three problems regarding talking about EHWB were identified. Firstly, the quality of EHWB lessons depended on the enthusiasm and creativity of the teacher taking the lesson. Secondly, pupils were concerned about confidentiality. Thirdly, many pupils preferred to talk to friends about EHWB issues. The findings of the study suggest a need for greater involvement of young people in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the EHWB curriculum.

Number of pages13
JournalChildren and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013


  • Emotional health
  • School health
  • Well-being
  • Young people

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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